Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million. by Martin Amis (Talk Miramax; $). When the historian Robert Conquest was asked in. Koba the Dread has ratings and reviews. Maciek said: There has never been a regime quite like it, not anywhere in the history of the universe. A brilliant weave of personal involvement, vivid biography and political insight, Koba the Dread is the successor to Martin Amis’s award-winning.

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And that is how Stalinism dtead perhaps best represented: To quote Amis, “when Stalin wished for a death, then that wish came true. A fine book written by a fine writer, and more importantly, ideas from a Probably the best angriest book about a historical figure I have ever read. That was the question you asked yourself each day in the gulag archipelago. The fall of communism and the opening of Soviet archives in the late 80s finally revealed the true nature and depth of Stalin’s atrocities such as his order to senselessly murder 20, Polish military officers, which the Soviets blamed on the Nazis, even going so far as to plant evidence on corpses to make it appear so.

What strikes me most is the infuriating, obvious hypocrisy — which must have been evident to Amis himself — a harsh tge of truth — and does our author live up to it?

Koba the Dread

It is self-hatred and life-hatred. Now what would be really interesting would be a book of Amis and Hitchens arguing about Communism given that Amis has no real investment while Hitchens has Trotskyist roots. Martin Amis has a noble purpose in writing Koba the Dread. Zinovieve’s three brothers were shot, as was one of his sisters; three other sisters, together with three nephews one of whom was shota niece, a brother-in-law and a cousin were sent to camp; his son Stefan was shot.


Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

Each leader applies his own, unique solution. So when I give a book one star, it’s not that I think I’m speaking for the entirety of western readership. Amis moves through his own biography and family history with Communism to write a personal history of coming to grips with Atrocity, in the person of Stalin, and the twenty million at least victims of the gulags, summary executions, purges, and deliberate famines.

He draws on many works, but above all on Solzhenitsyn and on the books of Robert Conquest, friend and counsellor to himself and his father. A fine book written by a fine writer, and more importantly, ideas from a great reader. Despite my reservations about the framing, I think that Koba the Dread is still an important work, and one whose importance will only become apparent some years from now – after the cocktail party clique grows old and is forgotten, and what remains is an exploration into the depths of pain and degradation into which ideology can drag us.

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Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist, and short story writer. Staling purged Soviet elite and society of any element which might have challenged his rule – no party member, army official and regular comrade could feel safe.

Feb 20, Szplug rated it liked it. There is only one book on this subject and that is Robert Conquest’s. He appears at the beginning and the end.

Koba the Dread by Martin Amis | : Books

Apr 08, Michael Burnam-Fink rated it it was amazing Shelves: Koba the Dread is still a fairly competent evaluation of Stalin’s life and politics, and it provides a fair and brief overview of the Soviet Union for readers who desire a quick blow-by-blow, even if it is derivative of Solzhenitsyn.

From pagediscussing what the author calls “Negative Perfection” of Stalinist Russia. From an official list of declassified Soviet jokes prepared by the CIA no kidding “A train bearing Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev stops suddenly when the tracks run out.

The same flaw is manifested in this book, not least in the section where Amis explains how he has been able to understand the pain of the gulag, because one night he caught his daughter crying and renamed her Butyrki, after the Moscow Prison p.

In between the personal beginnings and the personal ending, Amis gives us perhaps the best one-hundred pages ever written about Stalin: That sentence represented 3, lives. Sep 17, Pages. Certainly, in Augustremission ended and the patient’s sanity once again fell apart”.

Of course, we’re grateful for Amis, as well as his hyper-rational friend Christopher Hitchens – as deead as the world has Amis and Hitchens-types, we have a measure of rational safety. The book received a mixed reception. Amis takes to task those apologists of Soviet communism and its leaders, including his novelist father Kingsley and best friend, the infamously cantankerous and former lefty Christopher Drexd. The horrors detailed under Stalin are known and frequently denounced.

Return to Book Page. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We are experiencing technical difficulties. We may perhaps put this in perspective in the present case by saying that in the actions here recorded about twenty human lives were lost for, not every word, but every “It was Because he is a compelling prose stylist.


It takes a topic that I would be willing to wager most Westerners simply don’t know much about and distills it into an emotional blow that can be absorbed, and that will leave the reader thinking for days.

The only chance of avoiding death was to admit to everything, and to put the worst possible construction on all one’s activities. While I am not completely satisfied with his treatment of this particular topic I don’t feel he returned to it enough throughout the bookI feel he did a wonderful job towards the end of the book humanizing the tragedy and helping to provide a better sense of decorum and human loss to such an ungraspable tragedy.

The 21st century has monsters, too.

I found this one riveting, though. It had little or nothing to do with that, I now dred. A compassionate and profoundly powerful case for never turning an intellectually lazy or blind eye to evil, no matter what form it may take.

His previous book, Experiencemodestly pointed out that the greatest of all British authors had all made this leap, and here Amis was good enough to name himself, in case any reader missed the point. Koranic rule was meant to bring you swimming pools and hydrogen bombs.

Koba the Dread – Wikipedia

As Amis observes, all of us would say we feel that the Holocaust was “worse” than the Terror. It’s inadequate for a book written to honour dead millions who, in spite of their grotesque betrayal, continued to hope against hope. Ever present during his reign was laughter, but a laughter unlike any you’ve heard. Stalin had more time, more space, cold and darkness in which to kill more people than Hitler. At one level, it is about history; Amis made himself read through a library about the Soviet Union to distil this raging, incredulous ac-count of its crimes against human beings and humanity, “the collapse of the value of human life”.

Not a scholarly work, as many people have pointed out, and is it still necessary to debunk Stalin? Usually, I just read on, finding what I was This book was incredible.